Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans Press Conference

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans

Press Conference – September 23, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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When it comes to defending the Packers and you have WR Davonte Adams and RB Aaron Jones, it’s got to be more complicated than this, but can you just have a linebacker on every step Jones takes and DB Jimmie Ward shadowing every cornerback that gets Adams?

“I wish it was that easy. For sure, the Packers, they have a lot of weapons. You talk about the back, 33, or this receiver 17. And, of course, [QB] Aaron [Rodgers], the quarterback, he can make every throw and make every play. Those guys have been successful for a lot of years and they’re not slowing down now. So, it’s a tough challenge for us this week. We’re up to it. Looking forward to the matchup, it’s going to be exciting just to be back here in our home stadium for the first time in a long time to get our fans back in here, make sure they’re rowdy and loud. We need all the help we can get. So, make sure they’re pretty loud when we’re on defense to help us out because we’re going to need it.”

How did you think CB Josh Norman did on Sunday?

“I was pleased with Josh. I thought he stepped in and did really well. He competed, one thing about Josh, he competes every snap, no matter who he lines up against he’s going to compete. Has great energy. He’s great on the sideline with the guys. He’s a true vet, true leader, it’s been awesome being around Josh and he’s just fit in with our guys really well and he’s done a great job for the couple of weeks that he’s been here.”

 How do weigh that if CB Emmanuel Moseley’s able to return this week with him and DB Deommodore Lenior? With kind of the vet guy versus the rookie?

“Yeah, we have options there at cornerback. So, with E-Man and D-Mo, Josh, all those guys are capable of going out and playing for us. And the good thing about it, D-Mo, E-Man, they’ve played a lot of ball for us. I’m happy for D-Mo to get experience. So, he did really well for us this past Sunday. Again, just competing, never shied away from any anybody or anything. He’s stepped up, competed, and I love that about D-Mo. So, we got a lot of guys there who can step in and help us.”

Would you suggest DL Arik Armstead is playing really well? Would you say this is the best you’ve seen him play? I know it only been two games.

“I think Arik has done really well for us these first two games. He’s been disruptive on the quarterback. It maybe doesn’t show in the sack production and things like that, but when we talk about effecting a quarterback, I think Arik has done that and done it at a very high rate. And Arik continues to excel and do well. He’s playing with power and he’s moving the pocket. He’s forcing the quarterback to make errant throws. So yeah, I’m really happy with where Arik is and just happy for Arik. Just the type of leader that he is and everything that Arik represents. He’s a great guy to have, great teammate to our guys, great leader. Probably one guy who studies a lot of film, very smart guy, very cerebral, very smart, understands looks and things, how people are trying to attack us. So that’s one thing about Arik. He’s very detailed in his approach. He’s very detailed in his work ethic. Like every week he’s on it. He understands what the offense is going to give him and he’s able to capitalize on that.”

How did you feel that you guys did? I know there were some issues at the start of the Lions game in terms of a lot of inside runs. How did you feel like you improved in terms of maintaining gap integrity and how did DT Javon Kinlaw sort of help that?

“Kinlaw, I was happy for him to get back out there. Kinlaw is a big piece to us shoring up on the inside of our defense. Kinlaw is a major piece of that and he did a solid job for us on Sunday. And just the back end, all the guys being where they’re supposed to be. Guys being detailed on their fits, eyes in the right place. That helps us stop the run. The run game is also about a mindset. Guys have to have that physical mindset when it comes to the run game and have the mentality that nobody is going to run the ball against us. It’s more attitude and it’s detailed on where you need to be.”

Is this the best that DL D.J. Jones has looked over his career this year, especially in terms of pass rush?

“Yeah D.J., he was very explosive and disruptive on Sunday. Yeah, I think their offensive line had a really hard time dealing with D.J. He’s doing great. I mean, those guys up front every day. Starting with their coach, [defensive line] coach [Kris] Kocurek he’s training those guys every day to be their best. And you see all those guys are playing up to that level all across the D-Line. And I tell them all the time, everything we do defensively, it starts with our defensive line. So, when they’re playing their best and all the guys your mentioning, all of them are playing their best. Like we’ll be a good defense, based on how our D-line plays.”

33-years old is getting up there for a cornerback. With Josh Norman, I assume he’s not physically the same guy he was at 25. How much does his experience and everything allow him to play like he did Sunday?

“Well, the older you get in this league it’s like, ‘how do the older guys keep up with the younger guys?’ And it’s all about, from the neck up. How smart are you when you’re out there? Understand that you’ve seen as many things as you’re going to see. Route recognition, splits, all those things from the cornerback position. But it doesn’t matter, wherever you play at in this game, offense, defense, if you’ve been around long enough, you’ve seen a lot. And you’re able to understand and anticipate what you’re going to get. That allows you to gain that extra step maybe on a young guy who’s still trying to figure things out. Older guys are able to gain that step on it, just because of the mental game that they’re able to play. And I think that’s where Josh is ahead of a lot of people, just because of his mental prep.”

It seems like LB Azeez Al-Shaair was in the right spot all day long. There was a couple of missed tackles, however. What’s happening on those plays? Is he going almost too fast on some of them?

“Yeah, Azeez, like you said, he’s in the right spot, but anytime anybody is missing a tackle it’s all about technique. Just guys keeping their feet underneath them, keeping a good base, and just put him body-on-body and wrapping guys up. That’s the main thing. You see guys, miss tackles, a lot of times people are leaving their feet trying to sell out when it may not be the exact time to sell out. There are not many times when you just need to sell out. You just need to be confident in what you’re doing, put your body in and keep your feet on the ground and just wrap people up. That’s the biggest thing on tackling and tackling is confidence as well. Just being confident in what you’re doing and just getting a guy down and tackling is not just on one person. It’s on all 11 guys. I don’t expect one person to make a tackle without, 3, 4, 5, 10 other guys showing up at the ball.”